ASSEMBLY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 4008

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  MARCH 19, 2015

 

      The Assembly Judiciary Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 4008.

      Under current law, the Commissioner of Corrections, in conjunction with the Juvenile Justice Commission and the Parole Board, is required to record and analyze the recidivism of all inmates released from a State correctional facility and all juveniles released from a training school for juveniles. These inmates and juveniles are known as “releasees” under the statute.  The required data includes any arrests for offenses committed by releasees within three years following their release and any convictions resulting from these arrests. The data is analyzed to determine whether the rates and nature of rearrests and convictions differ according to the criminal histories and personal characteristics of releasees, the treatment they received while confined, length of sentence, conditions of parole, participation and involvement in reentry initiatives and programs, and other factors, including race, gender, ethnicity, and age.

      This bill requires the Commissioner of Corrections to include information concerning the treatment received by the releasees and any participation and involvement in reentry initiatives by the releasees, and to make recommendations concerning the effectiveness of the treatment programs and reentry initiatives. Under current law these reports are available to the general public. The committee amended the bill to provide that the reports shall not contain any personally identifying information.

      The reports and recommendations are transmitted to the Governor and the Legislature annually.

      The committee amendments require the Administrative Office of the Courts to establish a program that collects recidivism data and to make reports concerning adults sentenced to a period of probation. The purpose of this program would be to assist in measuring the effectiveness of the State's rehabilitation initiatives and programs. The program would record data regarding types of crimes committed by offenders that result in a sentence of probation, the arrests for all offenses committed by probationers within three years following their sentence of probation and any convictions resulting from the arrests, crimes committed while on probation, the number of repeat offenders and the number of probationers concurrently serving a parole sentence.  These data would be analyzed to determine whether the rates and nature of rearrests and convictions differ according to the criminal histories and personal characteristics of probationers, the treatment they received during the period of probation, participation and involvement in rehabilitation initiatives and programs, and such other factors as may be relevant to the purposes of this section, including, but not limited to, race, gender, ethnicity, and age.

      The committee amendments require the Administrative Director of the Courts to prepare and disseminate to the public annual reports summarizing the recidivism rates, patterns, and other findings and analyses resultant of the information gathered pursuant to the bill.  These reports would include summaries of the treatment received by the probationers and make recommendations concerning the effectiveness of the rehabilitation initiatives and programs.  Similar to the Corrections reports, these reports would be available to the general public and would not contain personally identifying information.  The reports and recommendations would be transmitted to the Governor and the Legislature.

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS:

      1.   Insert new section 2 to require AOC to establish program that collects recidivism data and to make reports to the Governor and Legislature concerning adults sentenced to a period of probation.

      2.   Provide that the bill would take effect on the 365th day following enactment.

      3.   Amend title and synopsis to reflect the changes.